Following the Rolls Royce fine and Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) under the Bribery Act earlier this year, the Joint Head of Bribery and Corruption of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Ben Morgan, stated that DPAs are here to stay.

Since the UK hosted world leaders at the Anti-Corruption Summit last year, the appetite to tackle bribery and corruption has only grown, and therefore firms should expect their ABC controls to remain in the focus of regulators and law enforcement. This was highlighted by the Rolls Royce DPA, as well as a further DPA enforced last year for a company only known as XYZ.

These two agreements also emphasise that the Bribery Act applies to all companies incorporated in, and with links to, the UK.
Firms could be liable under the Bribery Act if either; a senior person in the organisation commits a bribery offence and / or someone who performs services for the firm pays a bribe specifically to get business, keep business, or gain a business advantage for the firm. Therefore, it is not sufficient enough for a firm to simply have adequate procedures. The challenge is to embed the policies and procedures across the organisation, including overseas subsidiaries, branches and affiliates, to enable compliance with the Bribery Act.

Under the Act, a firm is responsible for third parties who act on its behalf – therefore, due diligence (which could even resemble an audit) is required for third party relationships.

An ABC risk assessment exercise is the cornerstone in understanding a firm’s exposure to bribery and corruption risks. As those risks continuously evolve due to both changes to firms’ operating environments and internal changes such as entry into new markets or new product launches, risk assessments must be kept up-to-date.

How we can help

Whether you are regulated or not, Bovill can help you take steps to manage your bribery and corruption risks and protect yourself from the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery by:

  • Create a framework/model for your anti-bribery and corruption risk assessment
  • Using the above framework/model, help in executing an anti-bribery and corruption risk assessment
  • Review policies and procedures and conduct a gap analysis
  • Design and implement appropriate controls, including third party due diligence
  • Provide training to staff and third parties on the bribery and corruption legislation that applies to your business (including the extra-territorial effects of non-UK legislation)
  • Help embed a strong tone from the top to drive a compliant culture throughout the firm, and
  • Provide technical and operational expertise when under a DPA.
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